Mission and Vision

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

(Romans 12:2)

St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry is an accredited Roman Catholic graduate and professional school that educates and assists men and women in academic, ministerial, interpersonal, and spiritual formation for the purpose of serving the Church through diverse forms of lay and ordained ministries, theological scholarship, and Christian service in society. Since its foundation in 1893, St. Bernard’s has been a dynamic, vibrant and responsive center for theological and ministerial education and training, attentive to the emerging needs of the Church in the Dioceses of Rochester, Albany, and Syracuse, and beyond. It draws upon the very best that the Catholic philosophical and theological traditions have to offer and communicates this to its students through traditional in class instruction, and through our online distance learning program wherein anyone - parents, full time employees, retirees looking to deepen their faith, and others - can login from anywhere in the country and participate in our in-session class, or view the class session at a time that’s convenient for them.

Pillars of Formation





In our service to the Church and her people, we take to heart the guidance offered by St. Paul in Romans 12:2, especially as this age is opposed, at the very least, to the renewal of mind and heart to which Christians are called, a renewal whereby we might not only see aright the will of God, and all that is good, pleasing, and perfect, but also thereby be able to share these with a world that stands so very much in need of them. Although we importantly address the intellectual pillar of formation through our academic programs, we recognize and affirm that we serve more than just the minds of our students. We seek to address them in the entirety of their humanity through due attention to the pastoral, spiritual, and human pillars of their formation with the hope that we may, in a definite and dedicated way, assist our students to understand deeply the things of our Faith and to incarnate them in their day-to-day service of God’s people and the world as a whole. Thus, through our degree programs and in our associations with the wider Catholic community (whether it be with the Abbey of the Genesee in the turning of one’s person to God, or in cooperation with the good work of those inspired by Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, and the Catholic Worker Movement, or in joining with the Finger Lakes Medical Guild to a vision of Catholic health care in our area and beyond, to mention but a few), we hope to share in the work of the new evangelization, and to thereby put to good use the many talents that our God has gifted to us.